Idaho Bars Nightlife and Entertainment.
Idaho. Arguably one of the most ruggedly beautiful of the American states, Idaho sits in the Pacific Northwest, bordered by Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Wyoming, along with British Columbia for just 48 miles. This Rocky Mountain state, also known as the Gem State because of its wealth of natural resources, has everything that the outdoor lover could possibly want – mountain ranges, rapids, huge lakes and deep canyons. Shoshone Falls is as striking as Niagara, while Snake River trails through Hells Canyon, the deepest in the US.
Historically, Idaho was part of Oregon, Washington and Dakota counties, finally achieving statehood in 1890 – a federal attempt to divide the region between Nevada and Washington failing. The original capital was Lewiston, but is now Boise, with other major cities being Nampa, Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Meridian (a suburb of Boise). Indian reservations still exist here and they seem to have worked out what visitors like to do…play the slot machines. The Fort Hall Indian Reservation is home to one of the state’s biggest Casinos, with over 900 gaming machines, while the Nez Perce Indian Tribe run the Clearwater Casino south of Lewiston (see full list below).
Idaho is famously known for its potatoes and agriculture has always played an important role in the state’s economy – as has mining and tourism, the latter attracting over 20m visitors annually. More recently the state has become an important base for science and technology industries and Boise in particular has become a major centre for semi conductor manufacturing.
Idaho – highlighted in redDividing into three main areas: the north or panhandle with its mountains and crystal clear lakes; the rugged peaks of central Idaho; and the farmland and cosmopolitan cities of the south. It’s a state where you can catch salmon and pick huckleberries and spend the night in a Yurt (a round watertight, semi permanent tent) or go bowling, horse racing, try your luck in na casino, and party most of the night.
Boise, the capital and largest state city, has a population of around 190,000. Agriculture, tourism and manufacturing are all important here and, as home to the state university, it has a fair share of young people looking for places to drink and party. Boise has ballet, bowling, a basque museum and is the world centre of Birds of Prey. It also has rafting, racing, river tours and the Rhythm Dogs. Get the picture? Boise is a pretty cool and cosmopolitan place.
Nightlife wise the choice is wide and varied. There are numerous eating venues from Rockies Famous Burgers to Baja Fresh Mexican Grill to Oriental Express to Papa Murphy’s Take n Bake; in other words, whatever you fancy they’ve probably got.
W Grove St, N 8th St, Main St, and State St, tend to be where you’ll find most of the decent bars and clubs. The Bardenay Restaurant and Distiller on W Grove St is a good place to start the evening with a cocktail or martini. The cocktail menu is really extensive, combining old favourites with Idaho specials like Huckleberry infusion. The Ram on E Park Blvd is an excellent sports bar with an onsite brewery and double deck patio – great for watching a game while enjoying an ice cold beer. For cutting edge live music, try Neurolux or The Balcony Club – both also gay friendly. The Dutch Goose on W State Street is a small but friendly tavern where Tuesday night is massive burger night.
The Modern Hotel takes the prize for the most interesting restrooms. Both the ladies and the gents have turntables and a choice of 45s – choose your music while you pee. Only in America.
Flag of IdahoIdaho Falls and Pocatello are the state’s other two main cities, where you may very well find yourself in need of refreshment. You’ll find it, but don’t expect a huge choice of post-bedtime venues. They are few and far between. Idaho Falls, located in the South East alongside the Snake River, is situated in some of the most panoramic scenery (there is a local photo website to prove it) and dominated by the Temple of the Latter Day Saints (a significant religious population in Idaho).
Nightlife here is more about good, wholesome, clean fun than dancing the light fantastic, Karen’s Park Avenue Club being about the only advertised nightclub. There are plenty of bars/pubs and restaurants to suit all budges and tastes. For top notch food try The Cellar, Rutabaga’s, the Whitewater Grill or the Wasabi Japanese Restaurant & Sushi bar; decent bars include the Peppertree Lounge on N Holmes Ave and Beer Billies on Lindsay Boulevard.
Pocatello has a little more going on with a reasonable choice of pubs, bars, restaurants and a few clubs – Yellowstone Avenue is where you’ll find the Green Triangle nightclub (open til 2am), Club 91, Bobby Joe’s Five Mile Inn, Pressbox sports bar and restaurant, and the Sandbaggers Bar and Grill.
If you find yourself in the Idaho panhandle, you’re more likely to be looking for peace and tranquillity than flashing disco lights – but everyone still needs a beer or two. Try the Laughing Dog Brew Pub in Ponderay, where beer is brewed on a fifteen barrel PUB system using local water. The yellow lab that appears on all the brews is Ben, the family dog – and said to be the inspiration behind the beers.
If you’re in Idaho to ski then chances are the resort you’re in will have its own nightlife pretty well sorted. Sun Valley, for example, is well catered for with venues such as Whiskey Jacques, a western themed bar offering live music and dancing; the Pioneer Salon, famed for its prime rib and steaks; Irish pub, the Cellar; The Casino….which remains popular although the slot machines are long gone. Tamarack, Brundage Mountain, Silver Mountain, Pebble Creek, Lookout Pass and the many other resorts all gear up well to après ski expectations.
Seal Of IdahoIDAHO’ s Indian Casinos
Bannock Peak Casino
1707 W. Country Road
Pocatello, Idaho 83204
Clearwater River Casino
17500 Nez Perce Road
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort Hotel
U.S. Highway 95
Worley, Idaho 83876
419 Third Street
Kamiah, Idaho 83536
Kootenai River Inn and Casino
Kootenai River Plaza
Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805
(208) 267 8511
Shoshone-Bannock High Stakes Bingo & Casino
Fort Hall, ID 83203